Plan Your Visit:
Where are you located? Read more
When are services held? Read more
Are there programs for children? Read more
UUCWI offers childcare for ages 5 and under. After attending the first part of the worship service, we invite children over age 5 to attend age-appropriate Religious Exploration classes. Please see the Religious Exploration page for more details about current and summer schedules of classes and activities for children and youth.
What do members of the congregation believe? Read more
Unitarian Universalists affirm a diversity of religious ideas. We support each other in pursuit of individual spiritual paths, guided by freedom, reason, and conscience. Our members’ beliefs range from traditional Christian, to Buddhist, to Humanist, to Atheist.
Are all people welcome in this congregation? Read more
We strive to respect and value all persons and the unique gifts each brings to our community. We include straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, and persons of all races and nationalities.
Can I just “show up” for a worship service or Sunday school if I have never been to UUCWI before? Read more
Sure. Please obtain a nametag at the table in the foyer of the sanctuary to help us get to know you. Adults who sign a card in the foyer may choose to receive the monthly newsletter and our weekly email of events. Parents should complete a visitor card for each child. The cards are available from the teacher in the classroom. The card provides information should the church need to reach you.
What should I wear? Read more
Dress varies from casual jeans to business casual. Feel free to wear what is comfortable for you.
If my child doesn’t separate well, can my child stay with me during the service? Read more
Your child is always welcome to stay with you during the worship service. Please be considerate of others if your child becomes restless.
Does the church accommodate those with disabilities? Read more
Our location has handicap accessible parking just south of the building entrance. All parts of our single-story building are wheelchair-accessible. Wheelchair-accessible bathrooms are located near the sanctuary in the hallway. Ushers at the church services can also provide hearing assistive devices upon request.
What can I expect when I visit your service? Read more
A typical service includes thoughtful readings, a story for all ages, eclectic music (from classical to contemporary), singing together, and a stimulating sermon by our minister (twice a month) or a guest speaker. The upcoming sermon topic is described in weekly email announcements and on the website home page. Our worship services include inspiration from our Jewish and Christian heritages as well as other world religions. They last about an hour and a quarter. Our topics are contemporary and wide-ranging. You should attend for at least a month to sample the diversity. After the service you are invited to stay for coffee (served in the foyer and rear of the sanctuary), discussion and fellowship with other visitors, church members, and the speaker.
Will someone try to “sell me” on your church? I don’t like to be pressured. Read more
We want to make every visitor feel welcomed and comfortable. Rest assured, you will not be pressured or given a “sales pitch,” but you will be greeted warmly and given an opportunity to introduce yourself early in the service.
What makes UUCWI different from other churches? Read more
There is no test of creed to join – “we need not believe alike to love alike.” Within our congregation, you will find a wide diversity of belief. In our Sunday School, we do not indoctrinate children by teaching them what they should believe, but rather we try to spark their own curiosity about religious questions and provide them with the tools they need to make their own decisions and to develop values and character.
To whom can I talk if I have questions? Read more
On Sundays, before the service, there will be a member at the hospitality table in the foyer to help you get situated and answer questions. Almost anyone you approach will be willing to talk and answer questions, so feel free to ask the nearest person. If you would prefer to ask a question via email, please send your query to our administrator or call 360-321-8656 (you may need to leave a message, but you will receive a call back if you leave your number).
How do I meet other people at UUCWI? Read more
Attend a service. Stay for coffee and conversation following the service. Ask questions of anyone. Do you prefer to meet new people in social- or work-related activities? We offer plenty of both options. Come to our many scheduled events! See the next question for the schedule.
Volunteer to sing in the choir. Volunteer to help with refreshments or ushering or building & grounds work parties. Sign up for small group opportunities for socializing, education and spiritual growth. Attend a special interest group event or adult exploration class. Sign up to work on a social action project. For more information see our Outreach pages. Discover more on our Activities pages.
Where can I find a schedule of upcoming events and activities? Read more
Sign up by emailing our administrator to receive emailed weekly announcements and our monthly newsletter. See our online calendar for event listings. Pick up an adult programs brochure in the lobby or view a PDF file of social circles or current adult programs. Don’t hesitate to ask the activity organizer if you have questions. The church administrator will be happy to put you in contact with the appropriate person.
Can I be involved in activities, if I’m not a member? Read more
Membership is not a requirement for most church activities. Our wide array of fellowship activities is open to all.
How do I become a member? Read more
Start with a “UU 101” class. Please see our Path to Membership page for more detailed information about the benefits and responsibilities of membership.
Discover Who We Are:
Unitarian Universalism – Why such a long and complicated name? Read more
In 1964, the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America merged and formed the Unitarian Universalist Association, called the UUA for short. We Unitarian Universalists call ourselves UUs. It’s a long moniker, but both sides of our denominational history are precious to us. Some of our congregations call themselves churches; some call themselves fellowships, religious societies, or (in New England, where some of our churches are 300 years old) parishes. It’s all the same to us.
Unitarian Universalism has no relationship to the Unity Church, or the Unification Church, or the Universal Life Church.
Unitarian . . . that means . . . God is one? Read more
Exactly right. From the beginnings of Christianity, many people have argued that God is a unity, that Jesus was a human being sent by God to teach us how to live, and that the Holy Spirit is just another name for the divine. But from the Council of Nicea (425 CE) until the Protestant Reformation, it was downright dangerous to be a Unitarian or any other kind of heretic.
After the Reformation, some religious freedom was allowed in some places, and Unitarian Churches were formed. In the United States, Unitarianism began as one school of thought within the Puritan churches in New England. These churches split in 1825 into two denominations, the Unitarians (the liberals) and the Congregationalists (the traditionalists). From New England, Unitarianism spread all over the U.S. and Canada.
And Universalism means . . . no Hell? Read more
The Universalists believed in universal salvation: that God, like a loving parent, wants every person enfolded in divine love (in heaven) after their deaths. No one is destined for hell. The Universalists were very popular in frontier America, especially in the years after the Civil War. Not only did they preach against hellfire and damnation, they were quick to embrace the emerging disciplines of evolution and Biblical scholarship. The Universalists, and to a lesser extent the Unitarians, got a lot of flack from their neighbors for their heretical beliefs, and they came to value religious freedom and the right of each individual to form his or her own faith, avoiding creeds as a test of membership.
What do UUs believe today? Read more
Unitarian Universalists (UU’s) come from many different faith traditions. It is not necessary to give up your own personal beliefs to join us. We don’t have one set of beliefs, or a creed, that everyone must share in order to join. Therefore, our churches are very diverse, theologically speaking. You will find liberal Christians, atheists, agnostics, humanists, pagans, Buddhists, and believers in all varieties of higher powers worshipping together, discussing their beliefs, and learning from each other. We think that diversity enriches us all as we talk about a reality that none of us can possibly know completely.
Rather than a formal creed, UU’s have adopted guiding principles formalized by the Unitarian Universalist Association.
The seven principles that Unitarian Universalist congregations promote and affirm are:
• The inherent worth and dignity of every person
• Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations
• Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
• A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
• The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
• The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
• Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
Do Unitarians consider themselves to be Christian? Read more
Actually, some do and some do not. As you can see in other answers, we are much more open to a diversity of theological perspectives than the typical Christian church. Nevertheless, Unitarianism grew out of the Protestant Reformation in 16th century Europe. At that time Unitarian thinkers began to question the authority of creeds and dogmas. In so doing, they strived to follow the example of Jesus rather than to keep to the various belief structures that had been created by men long after his death. What they aimed to do was to follow the religion of Jesus rather than the religion about Jesus.
Do UUs believe in the Bible? Read more
Yes. Although there are a variety of beliefs about the Bible among UUs, most of us believe that the Bible is a document, like others of the world’s scriptures, which demonstrates human creativity and contains human wisdom that is worth studying and living by. Some of us would say that such creativity and wisdom are the inspiration of the divine. We think the Bible is important because it is a part of the prehistory of our culture, and we want our children to know its stories and teachings so they will be culturally literate. We study the Bible using the tools of modern scholarship and understand it to be somewhat limited by its time and place. So while we honor the Bible, we use it as a resource, not as an authority. We draw inspiration from cultural works of many ages, including contemporary ones.
Dare I ask what you believe about God? Read more
We do not have a defined doctrine of God. Members are free to develop individual concepts of God that are meaningful to them. They are also free to reject the term and concept altogether. Most of us do not believe in a supernatural, supreme being who can directly intervene in and alter human life or the mechanisms of the natural world. Many believe in a spirit of life or a power within themselves, which some choose to call God.
The belief that we share is that pondering questions like “What is God like?” is important, and that the answer to that question must be found, not in a famous book or an ancient tradition, but in our own hearts. Some UUs look into their own hearts and find a very traditional God who loves them, consoles them in difficulty, guides them in times of need, and hears their prayers. Other UUs look into their hearts and conclude that they do not know very much about God. Still others find a feminine, motherly force in the world and call it “Goddess.” Some UUs believe in God as something greater than they are, but they don’t see that something as a person; rather, it is the creative force of the evolving universe, love, or mystery. And some UUs don’t like to use the word “god” at all, or have decided that such a thing does not exist. We offer an adult exploration group study called “Building Your Own Theology” to help discover the beliefs that resonate with us individually.
What do you believe about life after death? Read more
You’ll find many UUs who believe that this life is all there is and that our immortality comes from the contributions we have made to life and how we live on in the hearts of others. Some UUs believe in some form of reincarnation, others in an ongoing life of the human soul. A few will speak about heaven (hardly any about hell, on account of our Universalist side). Most UUs will qualify what they say about life after death by saying, “Of course, we don’t really know.” Most UUs face death with sadness but without fear, and some accept it as an adventure into Mystery.
How about those hot button social issues like abortion, gay marriage, poverty, and teaching evolution? Read more
UUs value justice, human autonomy, and equality of opportunity, and tend, therefore, to be on the
progressive side of the political aisle. But, just as there are some politically progressive evangelical Christians, so there are some politically conservative UUs. We affirm the validity of the scientific theory that life on earth has evolved throughout many millions of years. We respect science and rationality as paths to truth and understanding.
How do you practice what you preach? Read more
Good question! In theory, there are a lot of answers, but in practice, we act on our beliefs by loving our neighbors, working for a better world, studying the wonders of creation, and appreciating the beauty around us. Most UUs believe that how we live is much more important than what we believe, so we’re a pretty active bunch. We care very much how we treat each other and our neighbors, and we work to make this world a better place for everyone. UUs are an important part of the history of social justice in America.
How do you manage to be a church together if you don’t believe the same things? Read more
It’s not as hard as you might think. Atheists and Christians and Buddhists can sit next to each other in our worship services because they have a basic attitude of respect toward the truths and gifts that other faiths have. We UUs value spiritual curiosity. If you’re willing to regularly hear things you don’t believe, tend toward tolerance, and believe that how we get along together is more important than some of the differences in beliefs, you will find people who agree with you here!
We have developed a Covenant of right relations in our congregation to describe how we want to treat each other.
What do you teach your children? Read more
We teach our children that they are capable of looking into their own hearts and minds for religious truth, and that no one can tell them what they must believe. We teach them about the kinds of answers others have made to the great questions of religion. We teach them that their natural response of awe and wonder to the beauty of the world is a spiritual response. We teach them to think about moral and ethical issues, and we teach them to be curious and respectful rather than frightened or angry when they encounter persons who are different from themselves.
Where can I get more information? Read more
Check the Internet at UUA.org to learn more about Unitarian Universalism. Wikipedia has an informative article about Unitarian Universalism. Most new members of UU churches are new to our denomination, so local churches, including ours, often offer classes on the basics of Unitarian Universalist history, theology, and approach to faith. All are welcome to those discussions!
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